Kevin Owens came to NXT from the indie circuit and quickly made an impact with a brutal feud against former friend and tag partner Sami Zayn.
From there, he impressed WWE execs so much that they gave him a call-up and a surprise victory over John Cena.
Then, somewhere along the way, he sank back to mid-card territory, and with a recent tongue lashing that he received from Stephanie McMahon, a couple of respected industry veterans are concerned that the Boss’s daughter is working to bury him once and for all.
“What really bothered me on Raw is the way that Stephanie buries every single person that she interacts with,” said Mister Saint Laurent (MSL) on his MLW Radio podcast with former wrestling great Kevin Sullivan.
“Kevin Owens is your upper mid-card champion. He’s supposed to be one of your upper mid-card heels, and the way Stephanie speaks to people — it would be great in getting yourself over if you are supposed to be the be-all, end-all, but to bury all of the talent you’re interacting with, and then they’re supposed to go out and draw money — she just cuts the nuts off every single person that goes out on camera with her.”
Sullivan, former leader of WCW’s Dungeon of Doom and tormenter of Hulkamania, agreed, stating that Stephanie McMahon is “so deep into her character that she doesn’t understand how she’s burying these guys.”
Sullivan then shared an anecdote about a friend of his who is a Donald Trump supporter and believes that he can win a debate with anyone on why Trump should be President — “except Jimmy Cornette (wrestling manager and fast-talker); I think he could come back with something.”
Sullivan speculated that it was the same type of thing with Stephanie — that she feels she can try to bury anyone under the assumption that they can give it back to her.
To that, MSL said that he was fairly certain that talent “is not allowed to come back.”
“If you take the handcuffs off and they’re allowed to respond, and it’s not some writer giving them a lame, neutered response, if it’s a live mic on both sides, then bring it on, because if you can’t out-talk the boss, then you shouldn’t be on top.”
However, he reiterated, he’s certain that stars like Kevin Owens are not allowed to let loose when talking back to Stephanie, and that it is doing more harm to their characters than good.
From there, the pair took a shot at Triple H, asking who he “ever got over in his entire career, other than Triple H?”
While similar sentiments have been around for years in the Internet Wrestling Community (IWC), it has a little more weight coming from MSL and Kevin Sullivan due to their inside track with the industry.
Kevin Owens is noted for being as skilled on the mic as he is in the ring, and he’s one of the few wrestlers who have been able to control an audience.
In the age when fans decide who the bad guys and good guys are by the people they choose to boo, Owens has taken many of his cheers and turned them into taunts by running counter to what the live audience is giving him. That doesn’t happen in an age of heavily scripted wrestling programs.
To see a performer like that on the losing end of a verbal altercation with Stephanie lends credence to the idea that WWE is holding back its wrestlers from, as Vince would say, “reaching for that brass ring.”
But what do you think, readers?
Is Stephanie McMahon burying Kevin Owens and other top talents within the company?
[Image via WWE]